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The Smoky Smooth Sound Of Madeleine Peyroux - A Special CD
on March 10, 2005
I had never heard Madeleine Peyroux sing before until last weekend, when a friend played her new CD, "Careless Love," for me. I was enchanted at first listen. Since then, I have heard many people couple her name with Billy Holiday's. I don't want to be contrary, but I don't want to compare her smoky smooth sound to anyone else's either. To me, there is no other like "Lady Day," nor does there have to be. And Ms. Peyroux, who brings sensuality and a romantic languor to her songs, certainly does not have to stand in another vocalist's shadow. She clearly stamps her excellent collection of songs with her own special style - and a very classy one that is.
The content of this CD is quite diverse, ranging from Hank Williams to a WWII favorite. Many of her cuts are romantic ballads which deal with heartache and love gone wrong. A melange of jazz, country and light blues, backed by rhythm-guitar, and occasionally a low-key Hammond organ, she covers Hank Williams' "Weary Blues," Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love," and Bob Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go," and makes them her own. The WWII era torch song "J'ai Deux Amours," and "Careless Love," the Bessie Smith oldie, are terrific. A cover of Elliot Smith's "Between the Bars" is sung with a haunting melancholy and is probably my favorite cut, along with a song called "No More." "This is Heaven To Me," lovely and lullaby-like is pure heaven to hear. And "Don't Wait Too Long" is an original co-written by Jesse Harris and producer Larry Klein.
A fine band joins her, including Larry Goldings on the keyboard, bassist David Piltch, guitarist Dean Parks, and drummer Jay Bellerose.
This is one of the best CDs I have heard in a long time. Needless to say I bought myself a copy the day after I heard it. It merits a spot in the collection of anyone who loves great jazz vocalists.